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Bull's Island Recreation Area
Photo by Tom Keck

Bull's Island
Recreation Area

Mailing Address:
2185 Daniel Bray Highway
Stockton, NJ 08559
(609) 397-2949

GPS Coordinates
40 ° 24’ 37.62 ” N 75° 02' 05.27 " W

Size: 80 acres

Directions:
Take I-287 or Route 22 to the intersection with Route 202 in Somerville. Follow Route 202 south for 26 miles to the exit for Route 29 north. Go north for about 6 miles. The entrance is on the left.

View Map for Bull's Island Office and D&R Canal office

Facilities & Activities: Keep Your Recreation Area Clean    

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Hours   

Open daily sunrise to sunset.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Park Advisory   

Hydrilla was discovered in the Washington Crossing section of the Canal in July 2016. Hydrilla is an extremely aggressive invasive aquatic plant that spreads very rapidly and forms dense mats that can choke the flow of water through the canal.  A lake management firm was hired in September, 2016 to survey, assess, and map the extent of hydrilla and other problem weeds in the high-priority segments of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The survey report indicates that, for the 18.31 miles surveyed, submerged aquatic vegetation was collected at 96 percent of the sites, confirming the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation in the Canal. Hydrilla was observed at 56 percent of the survey sites.

On May 31, 2017, the Authority began a low-dose (<4 ppb) herbicide injection of Sonar Genesis for up to 120 days targeting the hydrilla and other nuisance aquatic vegetation.  At these low rates, there are no restrictions on fish/fish consumption, human/animal water consumption or contact. There are some recommended water irrigation usage restrictions that have been posted along the tred areas of the canal.  All Canal water customers have been engaged in the management planning process and continue to be updated on the status of treatment.  The herbicide application is showing promising signs of effectively controlling the Hydrilla and other nuisance aquatic plants.  The Authority and consulting firm are monitoring the status of plants and the herbicide concentrations at several points along the Canal. For monitoring and project information, please visit http://www.njwsa.org/hydrilla.html

Emerald Ash Borer Tree removal project

UPDATE EMERALD ASH BORER TREE REMOVAL PROJECT: Be advised - Work to begin Monday 2/27 along towpath in the South Bound Brook area. Trail re-routing or closures may take place.

The DEP conducted a tree assessment of the entire upper river campground as a result of a large sycamore falling in 2011.  The assessment provided evidence of hazardous trees due to root decay from silt buildup related to repeated floods.  Most of the trees in the area were found to have compromised root systems.

As a result, the DEP closed all camping areas to protect the public.   For the upper river campground which consists of a 5 acre parcel with more than 200 large trees, a management plan is in development to mitigate the public safety hazards with the goal of eventually reopening the area to the public for passive recreation.  The management plan will include the removal of trees in the upper river camping area and replanting of the area with smaller growing trees, shrubs and other native vegetation.  To adequately refine this management plan and to ensure that impacts of the tree removal to the natural resources, including migratory and nesting birds and other wildlife, are minimized, a coordinated team representing the various technical programs within the DEP are providing input to ensure concerns are addressed and any necessary reviews are conducted and appropriate permits obtained.   Plant material that will thrive in this type of environment and not create hazards for public access will be the focus of the plan, with attention to monitoring for, and controlling invasive species.  The area will ultimately reopen for passive recreational use.  The DEP will make a decision on the lower river camping section once the tree assessment is completed.

The Department will continue to update its website message on Bull’s Island Recreation Area as information becomes available.  Thank you.

Park Maps

maps/BullsIslandRecreationAreaParkMapFinalDraft2.pdf      

Bull’s Island Natural Area (24 acres)   

This natural area comprises a portion of a small forested island surrounded by the Delaware River and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. A trail along the towpath of the canal reveals a lowland floodplain forest dominated by sycamore, silver maple and tulip poplar. Several rare plant species are found in this natural area.

DELAWARE AND RARITAN CANAL COMMISSION

APPLICATION for INDIVIDUAL APPROVAL and WAIVER

Special Use Permit Application

Special Use Permit Application Package

A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency and Non-residents.  A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended. 

Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Michele Buckley of the State Park Service.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 7, 2017

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